Your wild home-buying, selling stories: These 17 help paint the picture

‘We made an offer on a house and offered over $100,000 OVER asking price. They still chose a better offer than that.’

Looking to buy or sell these days? (Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels)

We’ve all heard about it by now: Houses are selling like crazy (and they have been for quite some time now), interest rates have been at all-time lows, and it seems like everywhere you turn, you learn of another wild real estate story.

Even rent prices are high:

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So, we asked to hear your housing story.

Here are 17 responses we’ve received from viewers and readers, who were or are involved in the purchasing process, that we thought helped paint the picture.

  • “I am buying, it’ll be my third home, one had a purchase price of $545,000, and we made an offer $40,000 over asking -- and the house clearly had water or foundation issues in the basement. We still got beat by offers over $600,000! Where are people finding this money?! We can’t compete, so we are backing out of the search for a while.”
  • “We made an offer on a house and offered over $100,000 OVER asking price. They still chose a better offer than that. We found out later that it sold for $115,000 over asking, all cash. We finally got our dream house though, and our little bungalow sold for $30,000 over asking, so it all worked out for us!”
  • “I sold a house I owned for six years for a $145,000 profit. Now I’m going to rent until the market cools down, and build in the country.”
  • “Buying our first home, we were looking for about three months before we finally had our offer accepted. Houses were on the market for less than 24 hours and we were putting in bids for as much as $50,000 over, and were constantly beat by other offers that were all cash, quick close or higher bids. This was definitely not the first-time home-buying experience I was expecting. Everything felt rushed because of how hot the market was. The house we finally purchased was put on the market that day, and the same day, we had to put our offer in and keep upping our offer. It was definitely crazy, but we are very happy with our home purchase.”
  • “Our second home, we paid $70,000 more than asking.”
  • “We sold our house in Miami that we had been living in for almost 18 years. We rented for two years, hoping the market would calm down, so we weren’t in a hurry, but our house sold in five days (and we received) multiple offers. We got $25,000 over ask, and probably if we had waited a few weeks, we could have put it on the market later and gotten even more over asking. We were the first renovated house in our neighborhood to go on the market.”
  • “I just bought my first home, and paid $16,000 over the asking price.”
  • “We sold our home to a cash buyer, sight unseen, with no inspections or contingencies for $250,000. We bought a home listed at $370,000, offered $410,000, the offer was put in same day as (it was) listed, with the appraisal contingency waived. To be fair, however, it was listed by a trustee for the deceased original owners’ estate, with no sales history, no good comps in the area, and our mortgage underwriters ended up appraising it at $440,000. Several Realtors agreed that the trustee dumped it at too low of a price, and if they had been willing to do a bit of cleanup and presentation prep, it should have listed for at least $425,000, and could have easily been bid up to $460,000. So, while we bid 11% over asking, somehow we still managed to get what I consider a good deal in this market. We sold our old house in February and closed on the new one in May.”
  • “We sold our first house for about $20,000 more than I thought we’d be able to, in late July 2020. We found our perfect new home, and offered $5,500 more than asking, and it was accepted. We found out later that another buyer offered $10,000 over asking, but their offer was rejected because their offer was contingent on their selling, and they didn’t yet have their house on the market.”
  • “We sold our house in Westland (Michigan), and bought in West Bloomfield. We sold our house privately and didn’t list it. We put bids on six to seven houses in Livonia and overbid $30,000 to $40,000, guaranteeing $25,000 to $30,000, and were always overbid. Finally, an offer was accepted on a house that we bid up to $40,000 over asking, but because we had an escalation clause and did no inspection, our offer was accepted for $25,000 over asking.”
  • “We bought a house by Doctors Lake last year. We moved down to Florida from living in a house in New Jersey for almost 20 years. We wound up paying $54,000 more for our house in Florida (3,000 square feet) than what we sold our house for in NJ (2,000 square feet), but we pooled some resources together and paid in cash. Zillow lists our house for $105,000 more than we paid for it at this point.”
  • “We sold our home for so much more than we expected. We bought for $160,000 in Warren in 2017, listed it for $212,000 and sold for $250,000 in 2022 with a guaranteed appraisal gap of $40,000, pass/fail inspection, and free occupancy for 60 days. (It was) the best of 20 offers with our Realtor having to turn people away if they weren’t going to come in at least $10,000 over asking price. Wild! The only downside is, now we are buyers in this market. Wish us luck!”
  • “We’re trying to buy up north. We have been outbid four times. The last condo went for more than $100,000 over asking. We are making cash offers, but so is everyone else. It’s just crazy!”
  • “We were in the market to build our container home, but it was so hard to find a decent-sized lot at a reasonable price, plus the company we were dealing with was giving us the go around and not really giving us a price on the build, so we put our dream of building to rest and looked for a home that would be good enough for us to live in. Every time we would contact our Realtor to schedule an appointment to see a house, it would have multiple offers and the listing was probably only online for an hour. The cash buyers are the ones dominating the market, so people who have FHA or conventional loans don’t even have a chance. The average buyer doesn’t have $400,000 laying around to buy a home. If they did, everyone would have a home. Now that interest rates have gone up, what we would have been able to afford is no longer affordable. So, we have made the decision to stop looking and continue to save our money and maybe later we will be able to build our dream home.”
  • “I purchased my first house, which was new construction in September 2020, and just closed on Dec. 1, 2021. We waited several months to secure a lot and attended multiple ‘lot releases’ until we were lucky enough to get one. In the time it took to build, the base price of the house increased more than 20%. It was supposed to be done in October 2021, but was delayed -- and my lease expired, so I spent three months in Airbnbs all over the state, just waiting to move in.”
  • “My fiance and I have been house-hunting for six months. We have viewed more than 30 homes and wrote over 18 offers, most at LEAST $25,000 over asking -- some all the way up to $40,000 over asking, just to be denied every time. We even wrote personal letters telling the sellers our stories. I’m a DV and, once upon a time, using the VA loan was an amazing opportunity. Now it comes in dead last as far as offers go. ... It’s terrible right now, and doesn’t seem to be getting better. So, now people in their mid 20s and 30s who have been working hard to get a house are being beaten out by investors and hedge funds.”
  • “First-time homebuyer -- 17 offers on the house. My offer: $30,000 over asking, escalation clause (I would beat any offer by $2,500) and ended up $55,000 over asking, appraisal guarantee (and the house didn’t appraise, so I had to cover the gap), waived inspection (the house is only five years old, so I was OK there), I paid transfer taxes, and 5% EMD. Oh, also, this was a blind offer. There were no showings available before offers were due. The schedule was booked solid. I didn’t see the home until after my offer was accepted. I pretty much had to give everything short of my firstborn. But after losing several offers and rent skyrocketing, I knew I had to go all in. It worked out and I love my home, but the experience in this market was insane.”

Responses were anonymous, for privacy reasons. People had the option to leave their names and locations, but the majority of answers were nameless, so we chose to omit identifying details. Some responses were edited for clarity or length.

Want to share your home-buying or selling story? It’s not too late! Here’s a link for that. This story was first published in 2021. It has since been updated with fresh responses (April 2022).

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